Sunday, 18 December 2011

2011 Year in Review - Pt II

Yesterday I highlighted about half of the books I read this past year and was part way through my SciFi/ Fantasy/ Horror selections. So let's continue from there..

3 Stars

36. Robert Rankin - The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse *** This was an odd little story. I found the book in Victoria, along with The Toyminator and I've read this one so far. Humorous and interesting.
37. John Brunner - The Shockwave Rider *** It had been a long time since I'd read anything by Brunner; Stand on Zanzibar is an old favourite. This didn't let me down, very interesting story.
38. Iain M. Banks - The State of the Art *** I had read the Algebraist and Matter previously and got this collection of short stories as  a present. While not as good as his other stories, it's a good introduction to his style and also to The Culture books.
39. Tanya Huff - Blood Books, Vol II *** I enjoy her stories and these didn't let me down at all. There is also an entertaining TV series based on her Blood Books. Both are very entertaining. and she's Canadian as well. :0)
40. JG Ballard - The Crystal World *** Ballard has a unique perspective on SciFi. This wasn't one of my favourite Ballard stories, but still very interesting. Try also The Drowned World or The Wind from Nowhere.
41. Lester del Rey - Outpost of Jupiter *** del Rey is an old school SciFi story teller and his stories are always interesting, well-paced and page turners.
42. Aldous Huxley - Brave New World *** This is a classic SciFi novel. While it doesn't astound me, it's still worth reading to get Huxley's perspective.
43. Philip K. Dick - The Unteleported Man/ Howard L. Cory - The Mind Monsters *** This is one of those SciFi novels I used to read as a kid. Two books in one, one at either end. They were neat and always interesting. I enjoyed Dick's story more than Cory's. I found Cory's a bit silly, but Dick's was much more entertaining. It was fun reliving a bit of my childhood though.
44. William Gibson - Burning Chrome ** I do enjoy Gibson's style. But there have been a couple of his books, The Difference Engine and this collection of short stories, that have disappointed me. I liked a couple of the short stories, but on the whole, I felt let down.
45. Harry Turtledove - Opening Atlantis ** I have for the most part enjoyed Turtledove's alternate history/ alternate universe stories. But this one was nothing like his others. I think the storyline was too limiting, not enough characters and a weak premise. I won't be reading any more of the series.
46. Robert Bloch - The Couch ** Not a favourite, sort of on the line of a made-for-TV movie. It was nothing more than OK.


5 Stars
I've had a great year when it comes to mysteries. I've discovered many new authors that I am looking forward to reading much more of and also continued on with other series that I've enjoyed and continue to do so. I look forward to continuing my love affair with a good mystery in 2012.

47. Jo Nesbo - The Redbreast ***** I have enjoyed many of the Scandinavian mystery writers I've discovered the past few years. Nesbo was another. Harry Hole is an interesting police inspector, with personal issues. As well, he is involved in interesting cases (well, this one at least so far) and the story was tense, exciting and moved along nicely. This was one of my surprises of 2011.
48. Ariana Franklin - The Serpent's Tale ***** You will see another Franklin story featured here. I discovered her historical mysteries in January and was taken with her story-telling style right away. This is the second in her Mistress of the Art of Death series and it expanded on and improved her characters and stories. A great story and mystery.
49. Janet Evanovich - Hot Six **** I hadn't read a Stephanie Plum mystery for a couple of years. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy this series; it's light, funny, sexy and just a great read.
50. Margery Allingham - Pearls Before Swine **** An old style British mystery, a la Agatha Christie. This was my first Albert Campion mystery and I enjoyed immensely. I've got a couple more on my shelf for next year. :0)
51. Josephine Tey - A Shilling for Candles **** Not a prolific writer, she wrote 8 mysteries during her life. This was my first attempt at one of her stories. A well-crafted mystery featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Grant. I liked the characters and the interesting plot line.
52/ 53. Lynda LaPlante - Above Suspicion and Blind Fury **** I put these two stories together as they both feature DI Anna Fraser, another interesting character from LaPlante's character pool. These are the first and sixth of the series. I should have read in sequence probably, but it didn't seem to matter. I enjoy her style very much.
54. Patricia Wentworth - Wicked Uncle **** Another English mystery, featuring Wentworth's elderly lady sleuth, Miss Silver. Another first time author for me and another enjoyable parlour mystery.
55. Donna Leon - Dressed for Death **** Probably my favourite mystery series at this time; I love the Commissario Brunetti mysteries. The setting, Venice, is exotic, the characters well-developed and they draw you in. And the mysteries are all interesting and challenging. Love them!
56. C.J. Samson - Sovereign **** Another excellent historical mystery. Set during the time of Henry VIII it features hunchbacked lawyer, Matthew Shardlake who finds himself caught up in deadly mysteries and court intrigue. Another great series that gets better with each book.
57. Giles Blunt - Blackfly Season **** An entertaining Canadian series which features my home town of North Bay (disguised as Algonquin Bay), Ontario. Detective John Cardinal is a Police Officer dealing with personal issues as he works to solve interesting mysteries in Northern Ontario, capably aided by his partner, Lise Delorme. A nice feel for the area and tells an interesting story.
58. CS Forester - Payment Deferred **** I'd read a few of his Hornblower novels but didn't realise he'd written any mysteries. I discovered by accident and was glad I had. A nice, tense psychological mystery.
59. Mark Billingham - Sleepyhead **** My first Billingham novel. Very interesting premise, a victim with 'locked-in syndrome' and a new mystery protagonist in Tom Thorne. I quite enjoyed.

4 Stars
60. Ariana Franklin - Mistress of the Art of Death **** I discovered Franklin's series in January on a visit to Victoria. The story grabbed me immediately, fascinating characters and a tense, well-crafted mystery. Set in Henry II's England, the leading character Adelia Aguilar, a female forensic scientist must deal with a foreign land and sexist attitudes. I've now read two of this limited series. It's unfortunate that Ariana Franklin passed away when she possesses such talent.
61. Rennie Airth - River of Darkness **** I discovered Rennie Airth's Inspector John Madden mysteries on the same trip to Victoria. Set after the first World War in England, the plot was very interesting and the story tense and well-crafted. Airth's second in the series, The Blood-Dimmed Tide, will be one of my first books of 2012.
62. Barbara Cleverly - Ragtime in Simla *** This was my second Joe Sandiland mystery. There is a lot of positives going for this series, a nice historical setting in India, an interesting Police Inspector and interesting plot lines. But ultimately, while the stories are enjoyable, they don't necessarily 'wow' me.
63. Anthony Berkeley - The Poisoned Chocolate Mystery *** My first time reading anything by Berkeley and I found the story interesting. It's a parlour mystery, in this case, a murder being solved by a group of mystery enthusiasts.
64. A.A. Milne - The Red House Mystery *** I was surprised to find this book by the writer of the wonderful Winnie-the-Pooh stories. It turned out to be a tidy little mystery, nicely humorous and an interesting story.
65. Patricia Highsmith - Strangers on a Train *** The book that Alfred Hitchcock used for the movie of the same name. While I enjoyed it as a nice psychological study, at the same time, I had very high expectations and it didn't satisfy them as much as I'd liked. I'm still glad that I found the book and took the opportunity to read it.
66. Cyril Hare - Tragedy at Law *** A nice entertaining mystery set in Southern England on the Court circuit. Interesting twists and turns and it held my interest.
67. Kay Mitchell - A Lively Form of Death *** My first Mitchell mystery and I enjoyed. Very much in the Midsomer Mysteries by Caroline Graham. I liked Inspector Morrissey and I liked the plot and setting. Held my interest nicely.
68. Edmund Crispin - The Glimpses of the Moon *** This is the second Crispin mystery I read, featuring Genovese Fen. There is something about Crispin's style, sort of out there in left field. There is nice humour and neat little twists and turns. I enjoyed.
69. Ellis Peters - Leper of St Giles *** I do enjoy the Cadfael mysteries. I like the setting and I find the characters interesting. The mysteries move along at a nice pace, with the character development more important than the mystery. Having said that, Peters ties up all the loose ends nicely. I can pick up a Cadfael mystery after a long time away and know I'll be drawn back into his life easily and quickly.
80. R.D. Wingfield - A Touch of Frost *** This was my first Inspector Jack Frost mystery after many years of enjoying the TV series. I'm glad I finally delved into Wingfield's writing as I found it most entertaining.

Well, that's pretty well it for 2011. I may finish one or two more as I mentioned when I started this Blog. I'm looking forward now to 2012. I've Blog'd about my one Reading Challenge previously. I have all of those books laid out on a separate shelf in the book case upstairs. Another challenge will be to go through my many mysteries, starting at A and working along over the course of the year..


Enjoy your Christmas holidays and Best wishes for 2012. Keep on reading!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

2011 - The Year in Review

Over the past few Blogs, I've highlighted some of my favourite books of 2011. Today's is more of an overview of the books I read this past year. I enjoyed it very much, trying to finish off the various reading group challenges I participated in, trying to have as varied a reading experience as possible; a mix of genres, a mix of new and old authors, and on the whole, I think it's been successful. As of today, I had completed reading 70 books this year.

I'm currently working on P.G. Wodehouse's The Inimitable Jeeves as I wind down 2011. It's a nice light, fluffy sort of book, dry humour and nicely written. I think I'll have time to finish one or two more before the end of the year and start my 2012 challenges. I'm currently thinking of one or two of H.E. Bates' The Jacaranda Tree (set in WWII in Burma), Eugene Burdick's Fail-Safe (a re-read for me; set during the Cold War, it's a tense thriller about a failed bombing exercise where a group of US bombers disregard their return signals and head to Russia to drop their loads of nuclear weapons) and John Le Carre's Call for the Dead (his first novel, written in 1961, which introduces his iconic George Smiley).

Now onto my review of the books I read in 2011. I've broken down by genre; Bio/History/ Travel, Fiction, Mystery, SciFi/Fantasy/ Horror and Adventure/Spy/War. Each genre will be listed from highest to lowest rating. There were no 1 star books this past year. For info, this is how I try to use a 5-star rating system:

1 star - So bad I couldn't finish
2 stars - I finished but on the whole the book was unsatisfying to me
3 stars - Most books should be a 3; ultimately, satisfying, interesting enough to hold my interest, but probably no real major surprise or wow moments
4 stars - Excellent, surprising and a book that I had difficulty putting down
5 stars - Will be personal favourites, with the probability that at some point I will re-read.

So without further ado, here I go -

Adventure/ War/ Spy

5 stars!
1. Alan Furst - Spies of the Balkans ***** (one of the surprises of the year, an author unfamiliar to me, but who grabbed my attention. I will be reading more of his work. Check out this Blog for more info)
2. John Buchan - The Thirty-Nine Steps **** an old classic and a re-read. Try the original movie as well.
3. Ian Fleming - Casino Royale **** A classic of the spy genre, the first Bond book. Great read.
4. H.H. Kirst - Night of the Generals **** An excellent war mystery and also an excellent movie.
5. Alistair MacLean - When Eight Bells Toll *** A re-read from my early teens. Entertaining story.
6. Nicholas Freeling - King of Rainy Country *** A new author for me, no classic, but still I enjoyed.
7. Iris Johansen - Deadlock ** I finished it, but it didn't make me want to read any others of her books. Tried much too hard and failed.

Biography/ History/ Travel

4 Stars

(No real outstanding books in this genre this year, but all were interesting)

8. Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything **** A favourite writer of my wife, she particularly enjoys his travel books. My first and I enjoyed his style, his humour and the information he presents. Another of his on my 2012 list.
9. Tony Hawkes - A Piano in the Pyrenees. **** Another author from my wife. Nicely humorous and entertaining.
10. Simon Winchester - Krakatoa, The Day the Earth Exploded **** I've read others and he's always informative and presents interesting subject matter.
11. General Rick Hillier - A Soldier First *** One of Canada's most popular Chiefs of the Defence Staff. A well-written informative auto-biography.
12. Terry Jones - Barbarians *** Historical tome from one of Monty Python's alumni, interesting take on the Roman history.
13. Max Boot - War Made Easy *** Interesting historical look at how specific weapons and tactics influenced historical events.


5 Stars!
14. Harper Lee - To Kill A Mockingbird ***** This was a re-read and once again made me realize what an excellent book it is and why it is my all-time favourite book and also movie.
15. S.E. Hinton - The Outsiders ***** This was also a re-read for one of my genre challenges; Young Adult. It's a moving, touching story and survives the test of time.
16. Audrey Niffenegger - Her Fearful Symmetry **** As good as even if a different feel from her first book, The Time Traveller's Wife. Totally enjoyed.
17. Leo Rosten - The Return of Hyman Kaplan **** Light, humorous touching story about immigrants trying to learn English at night school.
18. Timothy Findley - The Pilgrim **** Interesting story, with psychological bent. I didn't know what to expect from the story and it didn't disappoint.
19. Graham Greene - Brighton Rock **** Tense thriller, interesting characters and well-written story.
20. Sara Gruen - Water for Elephants **** One of my first books of the year and I loved it. Well-written, emotional and tense at times.
21. E.M. Forster - Howard's End *** Interesting story, a new one for me.
22. Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray *** A classic that I'd meant to read many times. It was not one of my favourites of the year, but at the same time, still interesting.
23. George Orwell - Burmese Day *** I'm more familiar with his SciFi classic, 1984. Set in Burma during the British colonial period, it explores the lives of and the clash of cultures of the time. Interesting.

Science Fiction/ Fantasy/ Horror

5 Stars!
24. Nevil Shute - On the Beach ***** Does it qualify as SciFi or Fiction? I put it here as it deals with a dystopian future. An all-time favourite of mine and a re-read. Once again it didn't let me down.
25. Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451 ***** Another classic of the SciFi genre. I'd read many moons ago and wanted to re-read. Enjoyed just as much this time.
26. John Wyndham - The Seeds of Time **** A collection of short stories from one of my favourite SciFi authors. Enjoyed them all.
27. Roald Dahl - Tales of the Unexpected **** Another collection of short stories. This was a TV series in the UK. Nice twists and turns, enjoyed very much.
28. Robert Louis Stevenson - The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde **** An early classic in the genre. It was the first time I'd read. Not what I expected and I enjoyed very much.
29. William Gibson - Spook Country **** I enjoy his SciFi for the most part. I liked this story, good characters, a nice mystery, entertaining.
30. Jim Butcher - Fool Moon **** Number 3 of the Dresden Files series. Entertaining, interesting, great characters and plots.
31. Linda Buckley-Archer - The Time Thief **** This is the 2nd in the Gideon stories. Interesting tale of time travel and adventures. Suitable for youngsters too.
32. Fred Hoyle - The Fifth Planet **** I've read a few of Hoyle's stories and generally enjoy them. This one took me some places I didn't expect and I enjoyed it very much.
33. Phillis Gotlieb - Sons of Morning and Other Stories **** I discovered Gotlieb's unique style only in the last couple of years and I enjoy her stories; somewhat cheeky and always interesting. This collection of short stories was also very readable.
34. Whitley Streiber and James Kunetka - Nature's End **** A great follow-up to War Day. They write very well together.
35. Ursula K. LeGuin - The Lathe of God **** My favourite LeGuin story will always be The Left Hand of Darkness, however, I enjoyed this story very much also. Nice to read another LeGuin story.

To Be Continued tomorrow.. :0)

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Favourite Books of 2011 - Part 3

Well, it's now Dec 3, 2011 and I'm winding down my reading for the year. I imagine I'll be able to get in 3 or 4 more books, especially if we travel a bit as planned, because I usually manage to get a bit of reading in then. At the moment, I'm reading two mysteries;

Inspector Frost # 2
 R.D. Wingfield's A Touch of Frost. This is the second book in the series; Wingfield only wrote 6, but from the books came a wonderful, long-lasting TV mystery series, starring David Jason as Frost. I'm sure I'm missing some aspects of Frost's life by starting with Number 2, such as the issues with his wife's health, but I'm almost half way through at the moment and I don't feel like the story is lacking any interest without my having read the first. I do recall the basic plot from one of the TV episodes; there are at least 3 ongoing investigations, a serial rapist who targets young girls, a hit-and-run driver and the murder of a hard luck drug addict who is found dead in a public toilet. There are some minor aspects of Frost's character that differ from the book to the TV show, but even that doesn't take away from the story. I can accept either. At any rate, I'm enjoying very much at the moment and it's been interesting enough that I will search out the rest of the series to read.

Cadfael # 5
The second book I'm working on at the moment (my downstairs book) is Ellis Peters' 5th Cadfael mystery, The Leper of Saint Giles. It's a favourite series of mine (among many, you can never have too many!). I also enjoyed the TV mini-series, or at least the episodes that I have seen. I can pick up one of the books anytime and find myself drawn into the life and times of Cadfael, the Benedictine monk who lives in the time of the wars of succession between Empress Maud and King Stephen. In this episode, a wedding is to take place in Shrewsbury Abbey, between a middle-aged royal and a young 18 year old girl, Iveta, whose aunt and uncle are basically selling her so they can gain her properties. The lord is murdered and Cadfael finds himself trying to solve the murder, in order to prevent the execution of one of the lord's squires, a young man who also loves Iveta and wants to protect her interests. I'm enjoying the story very much so far and find myself about half way through it. As always, the descriptions of the times, the character of Cadfael and the mystery always draw me in.

John Wyndham short stories
One last book mention before I finish off my final list of 2011 favourites. When I finish one or other of the two that I am currently reading, the next on my list. One of my book clubs, the UK Book Club on goodreads has an ongoing genre challenge, which I've mentioned previously. In December, the challenge is short stories. I conveniently purchased John Wyndham's The Seeds of Time at a book fair held locally each November by the Rotary Club of Comox.  Wyndham is one of my all-time favourite writers, having written two of my favourite Sci-Fi novels, The Day of the Triffids and The Chrysalids. I have read the Seeds of Time previously, back in my high school days, but I think it's time to read it once again. Plus it'll satisfy my Dec challenge. :0). The book features 10 short stories covering subjects as varied as time travel, body snatching and mind snatching. I'm looking forward to it..

OK, now on to my final selections for my favourite reads of 2011. (Remember, they weren't necessarily written in 2011, just read this year.)

Brighton Rock
 In Mar, I read Graham Greene's Brighton Rock. I have read a few Graham Greene novels, a particular favourite of mine is Our Man in Havana. But I had never read Brighton Rock; I think one reason I dusted it off to read this past spring was because of the movie remake that came out starring Helen Mirren. Mind you, I still haven't seen the movie, either the original or the remake, but I'm glad I read the book. It was a fascinating tense thriller. The characters were interesting; Pinkie was a ruthless, sociopath, prepared to kill anyone who stood in his way. He readily used Rose, courting her and even marrying her to prevent her telling what she had witnessed. And then there is Ida Arnold, bigger than life, but ready to risk anything to get the truth for her murdered friend. It is a tense story, well-written, well-paced and a must read for anyone who likes that genre, or just likes an excellent story.

Night of the Generals
 I had seen the movie, Night of the Generals, starring Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole, many years ago. It was an interesting movie, a war movie and a murder mystery. Insane generals and an intrepid German military police officer trying to solve the murders of prostitutes in both war-torn Poland and Paris. I had been interested in H.H. Kirst's writing for awhile; while I was stationed in Victoria in 2007, I had purchased a few of his books and read Hero in the Tower, a very sardonic look at the war, from German eyes. Kirst also wrote Night of the Generals and I read it in Feb of this year. The plot moves from Poland to Paris; in both cities prostitutes are brutally murdered. In each city, the same three generals are stationed and considered as suspects. The cases are investigated, the generals characters are developed nicely. The story is interesting, the plot has nice twists and turns and the final scenes are surprising and complete the story nicely. A different perspective of the war and, along with a good mystery, one you might find very interesting and well worth reading.

Inspector John Madden
 One of the very first books I read this year was a mystery from a new writer for me, Rennie Airth's River of Darkness. It is set after WWI in the peaceful countryside area of Sussex in South England. The peace is rent asunder by the brutal murder of 5 members of a family; four with a bayonet and the lady of the house, by having her throat slit with a razor. Tragically a young girl, the daughter of the household, is found alive under her bed, terrifyingly having heard the slaughter in the house. Into this tragedy comes Scotland Yard Inspector John Madden, who must sort through this violent murder to find the killer. Madden deals with his own issues, psychological baggage from the War, while he works steadily to find out who committed the vile murders. The search takes him along many paths, to other areas of Southern England as he tries to find the person responsible. It is a tense well-developed story and I highly recommend it. I now have the second book in the series, The Blood-Dimmed Tide, ready to be read in 2012.

Spook Country
 William Gibson is a Sci-Fi writer, but one who produces interesting different views of the future. I've read many of his books and only was disappointed with one, The Difference Engine; I just didn't get it. But Spook Country follows along with many of his series; Pattern Recognition and Zero History are set in the same period. it's a future of computers, holograms, spies, invention. The story is more of a spy thriller than futuristic Sci-Fi; there are no aliens, just strange and interesting people. The plot revolves around 3 story lines which ultimately are linked into one thread. The main characters of each plot line are Hollis Henry, ex rocker, turned investigative journalist on assignment for a new secretive magazine, The Node; Milgrim, the junkie, inextricably tied to the secretive spy Brown, involved in trying to get something for someone; and, Tito, the Cuban - Russian, who is helping his family on a mission to who knows what. The story moves along very nicely, keeps you guessing and ultimately links everyone and everything up very nicely for a satisfying conclusion. Great story.

Her Fearful Symmetry
 A book that resonated with me so very much was The Time-Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffnegger. I loved it; the whole concept was fascinating and the story so well-written. I even liked the movie, even though it seemed to be panned by the critics. I don't know why, as I thought it represented the story very well. When I saw Audrey's next book, Her Fearful Symmetry, at the store, I had to buy it. It has sat on my shelf for awhile, but in September I took it down and sat down to read it. And I loved it too. It was different from the first, but as enjoyable. The story involves twin sister Valentina and Julia who inherit there aunt's flat beside Highgate Cemetery when she dies. The aunt is the twin of their mother, sisters who haven't spoken for years. To inherit the flat or be able to sell it, they must stay there for a year, and their mother isn't allowed to enter. Residents on other floors of the flat are their aunt's lover, Robert Fanshawe, who works as a tour guide at the cemetery and Martin Wells, the agoraphobic shut-in who lives upstairs and never leaves. Throw in the ghost of their aunt and you have the makings of a fantastical, interesting story which will take you down some paths you don't expect. It was different from the first, but all the same, it was an excellent story. I loved it!

Harry Hole mystery
 I was introduced to Norwegian writer, Jo Nesbo, by chance. I like to frequent the mystery section of one of my local book stores, The Laughing Oyster, to see if any of my favourite series have new additions or just to see if anybody else might grab my fancy. I found Jo Nesbo in Jun, read the back of some of the copies the store had on the shelf, asked the clerk if she had read any, and from both the synopses and her recommendation, found myself with two books. The Redbreast is the third of the series which has 8 stories in it, but the first translated. I sat down to read in in Jun and finished it in 3 days. Great story, fast paced; I really find Harry Hole interesting and I like his partner, Ellen, as well. The story moves between the present where Harry finds himself promoted to Inspector and monitoring neo-Nazi activities and the Russian Front during WWII where Norwegian Nazis find themselves fighting with the Germans. It was a very different story for me, gritty, interesting mystery and I liked the Norwegian setting. I'm finding many excellent mystery writers from Scandinavia and Nesbo ranks up there with the best. I have Nemesis on my shelf, which follows The Redbreast so that will be a must read for 2012. I'm looking forward to it already.

Water for Elephants
The final book from 2011 that I want to mention is Water for Elephants, from Sara Gruen. In February I found myself in Winnipeg, Manitoba, waiting out a snow storm at the airport as all flights were delayed, including my flight back home to Comox. So I saw at the airport bookstore and following normal procedure, I bought it. I had just finished a book of short stories as I lounged around. So in need of something new I started to read this and found that it drew me in so successfully that I had finished it by the time I got home later that night. It's a simple story in its way, man joins circus, man falls in love with lovely female circus star and they live happily ever after.. Well, maybe not quite. But the basic premise is there. There are many tragedies and adventures throughout this journey as told by Jacob Jankowski, the veterinary student who loses his parents in a car crash, which causes his life to come tumbling down, and who joins a circus. The story follows Jacob until we meet him as a ninety-plus year old man living in a nursing home. It's a fascinating, interesting, emotional story, told with feeling and skill. Another of my favourites of 2011.

So there you have it, over the last 3 Blogs, the books I enjoyed most reading them in 2011. I hope that by reading this you might find some interesting enough to pick up yourself and see what they are like.

At any rate, go to a book store in your neighbourhood and check them out. Keep on reading in 2012!

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